This was actually my most recent sipdown as I finished the last of a 50g pouch of this tea earlier in the day. Honestly, I rushed to review this tea because it struck me as being rather unique. It reminded me of some of the jade oolongs that are coming out of Taiwan, though I suppose it really should considering that the gentleman who produced this tea is Taiwanese. This tea, however, was more than just a Taiwanese-style oolong produced in Yunnan Province; it was an oolong that very skillfully demonstrated the effects that a different terroir can have on a tea.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of rolled tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 9 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of cream, vanilla, custard, and gardenia. After the rinse, I detected aromas of vanilla and sugarcane accompanied by hints of spinach. The first infusion introduced butter and soup broth-like umami scents. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of cream, vanilla, butter, and sugarcane that were backed by faint gardenia notes and hints of umami, spinach, grass, and sour apricot in the aftertaste. Subsequent infusions saw the emergence of a stronger and saltier umami presence on the nose, a stronger spinach aroma, and the introduction of subtle grass, watercress, lettuce, apricot, orange zest, and pear scents. In the mouth, stronger gardenia, apricot, grass, and umami notes were present, though I also found new impressions of lettuce, green apple, minerals, watercress, daylily, daylily shoots, seaweed, pear, and orange zest. Custard impressions belatedly emerged in the mouth as well. The lengthier later infusions offered lingering notes of minerals, daylily shoots, grass, umami, and butter that were backed by sugarcane, vanilla, green apple, and pear hints.
While this tea did offer aromas and flavors I normally associate with Taiwanese oolongs of this style, its mouthfeel was much heavier, thicker, and pricklier. The way the flavors expressed themselves was brasher and more strident. The tea almost felt as if it had a bit of swagger to it. It also displayed surprising longevity compared to some of its foreign counterparts. I actually could have kept going with this session, but it was getting late. The tea liquor was also starting to get a bit chalky and astringent for my liking, so I cut it off where I did. All in all, this was a fascinating and highly enjoyable rolled oolong. I doubt I would pick it over similar teas from Taiwan and Southeast Asia since I happen to enjoy a bit of restraint and subtlety in teas of this type, yet I would certainly not turn down a tea like this in the future. Check it out if you are looking for an oolong with a bit more bluster and liveliness.
Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Cream, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Grass, Green Apple, Lettuce, Mineral, Orange Zest, Pear, Seaweed, Spinach, Sugarcane, Umami, Vanilla, Vegetal